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Citi announces winners of inaugural Citi Mobile Challenge

Banking on the power of fintech, Citi on Wednesday announced the winners in its Citi Mobile Challenge U.S., a contest that invited technology developers to reimagine digital banking and submit concepts that would fuel innovation in the financial industry.

South Florida had three finalists competing, and one company with operations in Miami was a winner.

Centric Consulting’s mobile withdrawal solution was awarded “Most Innovative ATM Solution” and received a $20,000 cash prize and opportunity to work with Citi. The team presented its concept at a Demo Day in Miami on Nov. 14.

“Centric is truly honored to be an award recipient in the Citi Mobile Challenge,” said David Andrade, Centric Consulting’s Miami Practice Lead and Mobile Withdrawal team member. “One of our goals at Centric is to revolutionize the mobile experience and this event was the perfect fit.”

Centric’s Mobile Withdrawal Solution would enable customers to use a mobile phone to securely ask a parent or friend for money, have the request approved, and then withdraw the money from a Citi ATM machine through the use of Bluetooth beacons, or wireless sensors, without having to use an ATM card.

Concepts were presented by more than 60 teams to Citi executives and technology influencers at three Demo Days held in November in Silicon Valley, New York and Miami. Their entries were evaluated on their impact, viability, user experience and functionality.

First held in Latin America earlier this year, the Citi Mobile Challenge received participation from over 3,000 developers across 740 teams representing 62 countries in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Citi plans to expand the Mobile Challenge events to cities in Europe, the Middle East and Africa in early 2015 to deepen the bank’s developer engagement, connect directly with new innovation hubs, and uncover fresh approaches to driving financial inclusion through technology.

"Developers submitted so many innovative solutions to Citi and we were so impressed by our finalists’ presentations that we expanded the pool of awards for the U.S. Challenge,” said Heather Cox, Chief Client Experience, Digital and Marketing Officer for Global Consumer Banking at Citi. “We are excited to work with many of the top teams of developers with the goal of bringing their solutions to market for Citi clients all over the world.”

 Other solutions that will received  cash awards of $20,000 each included “Citi Wallet for Small Business” from Team Spydy, “Concierge app” from Citifiers, “Piggi” from Critical Mass, “PopMoney on Android Wear” from Apptivation and “Swift Banking” from Dogtown Media.

Jorge Ruiz, who   heads Citi's Business Development and Digital Banking for Latin America, a   division based in Miami, said this Challenge grew out of one Citi ran for   Latin America in the summer; Citi is already working with winners in that   Challenge  to bring the concepts to market.

Planet Media,   with its U.S. base in Miami, presented and was a winner in the Citi Mobile   Challenge Latin America. Planet Media, with 350 technology specialists   on three continents, the Omnichannel Solutions company operates in   banking and payments and many other sectors. Diego Peña, U.S.   Country Manager for Planet Media, received the team's award at the Miami Demo Day.

Indeed, Miami is putting down roots in fintech, with a growing number of financial startups in the region and a Fintech Latam conference a couple of months ago.

In conjunction with the contest, Citi is launching a series of fintech meetup groups around the world and its first one to blast off will be in Miami. To be held at 6:30 tonight at The LAB Miami in Wynwood, the meetupingit’s free but registration is required. Find out more about the meetup here.

Posted Dec. 3, 2014